December 11, 2020
Ms. Anna Chamberlin
Manager, Project Review
District Department of Transportation 55 M Street, SE, 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20003
Dear Ms. Chamberlin,
The purpose of this letter is to respectfully request a waiver of the requirement to submit an annual parking utilization and transportation demand management report to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) for calendar year 2020.
As you are aware, the Zoning Commission for the District of Columbia approved the American University 2011 Campus Plan in Zoning Order No. 11-07, and Zoning Order No. 11-07B for the Washington College of Law/Tenley Campus, with the requirement that certain parking utilization and transportation demand reports be submitted to DDOT on an annual basis. The last such report was submitted on December 19, 2019.
This request for a waiver for the CY 2020 reporting period is based on the unprecedented level of disruption to all aspects of the university parking operations and TDM programs caused by the global pandemic. In March 2020, the university transitioned to remote learning and working for all students, faculty, and staff and the campus was essentially closed for the remainder of the year. Therefore, we did not have the opportunity to collect the statistical data needed to prepare a comprehensive and substantive report to DDOT that could be used as a year to year comparative analysis of required performance measures.
As we look forward to 2021, we hope to incrementally return to normal operations as health and safety conditions allow. Once we achieve normal university operations, we expect to fully reinstitute all standing parking management measures and TDM programs. However, we have learned lessons during this new paradigm that could affect our future TDM enhancement strategies. For example, we have achieved proof of concept that a significant number of our employees can effectively work remotely thereby reducing vehicle traffic to campus in particular, and around the region in general. In addition, we will closely monitor changes in the commuting habits and modalities of those coming to campus and adjust our programming
4400 MASSACHUSETTS AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON, DC 20016
accordingly. Finally, we understand that members of the AU community may be reluctant to resume using mass transit due to lingering health and safety concerns which may result in increased single occupant vehicle traffic to campus and may also negatively affect student utilization of the AU/WMATA U*Pass Program. Therefore, we will partner with WMATA to provide information to the AU community on actions taken by WMATA to reduce health risks and increase systemwide safety with the goal of achieving pre-pandemic AU ridership levels on bus routes and the rail system.
American University remains committed to being a leader in higher education transportation demand management. We will continue to work with DDOT and our neighbors to explore and implement measures to reduce single occupant vehicles coming to our campus, provide a variety of environmentally friendly transportation options to our community, and report on our progress as requested.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of our 2020 waiver request. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information.
Assistant Vice President
Risk, Safety, and Transportation American University
Cc: Ted Van Houten Anna McLaughlin